What happens if you don’t pay court ordered costs and fines?

UPDATED: Dec 14, 2011

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What happens if you don’t pay court ordered costs and fines?

If a person was found guilty of a crime and they also were told they had to pay the court costs and compensate police and they don’t pay, what happens? Also, can that person ever own anything such as land car, etc? How can you go about finding out how much a person owes?

Asked on December 14, 2011 under Criminal Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If a person has been order to pay court ordered costs and fines and fails to do so by a certain date, the court can issue an order to show cause for contempt of a court order and could impose additional fines if there is no valid excuse for the non-payment in a timely manner.

The amount owed concerning a criminal matter would be set forth in the court docket on the criminal matter where the fine was imposed against a particular person.

If the ordered costs and fines are not paid by the person who is required to pay, the county clerk can send the order to collections where a wage garnishment could result and payments that way would be made over time.

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